Before I begin, I cannot stress this enough, please do your own research. I am in the process of helping with this (details at the end of this post), but please know that there are ENDLESS resources out there for you to digest about how optimum health is achieved and how food can cure endless ailments and disease. I’m not making this up, I’m not just lucky, I’m living proof. So, please read on and know you are your own best advocate and your own best keeper of your health. Take charge! 🙂
I get asked a lot about how others can go vegan. I send them all the same things that helped me and always offer encouragement. Very recently someone asked me WHY I went vegan. I began to rattle off the same things I tell everyone about how-to become, and realized, that’s not what she asked B! She asked why, not how, and in some ways, that might be the more important question…
Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients.
I remember going vegetarian at a point in college. One of my best friends had been for years and she was always one of the most fit people I knew, so I figured I’d try it too. I was never ever a fan of chicken and never ate too much red meat so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard. It actually wasn’t. I had read the popular book Skinny Bitch and that helped a lot to refocus how I thought about food. I also have always been an animal lover, like completely obsessed. But, after I graduated and remember that summer having steak tips again because, well I wanted them? You can bet very shortly after that meal I was doubled over in pain, and that never makes anything worth eating.
Fast forward to 2014/2015, when I was told I would need daily inject-able medicine to keep me flare-free. Still at this point a diet change was never mentioned to me by any doctor I saw. After that visit to the specialist I was more than dedicated to find answers. I probably started googling: How to Cure Colitis. To my surprise it wasn’t just a wish, lots and lots of people were claiming to have been cured or at least to have been in remission for years and years on end! What was that like? And what were they doing to stay pain-free?
The common denominator in everything I was reading on the internet and in books claiming to cure, was that a plant-based diet was the key to feeling better and keeping UC and other very common dieseases in remission for years on end. So, that was it…
Going plant-based for me may have been easier than it is or could be for most people. My health and body condition were pretty much being held hostage by a disease and medications that were wreaking havoc on my body. I mentioned in my The Medicine Game blog that I had researched (out of complete desperation for some relief) that a mostly vegetarian and even better, a plant-based diet could help keep my colitis (or if you have UC, Crohns, IBS, IBD) in remission forever perhaps, or at the very least a lot longer than any other course of action I had taken thus far. So, making the move towards vegetarianism and then fully plant-based was at first because I just wanted to end this painful suffering and I didn’t want to have to inject myself with medicine for the rest of my life, fair?
That’s how it started. But as you begin to research veganism specifically, you come across more about animal abuses and food industry horrors that you could never imagine are, number one allowed, and number two are actually real, and happen on a massive scale every-single-moment. I tear up just thinking about it. And people make fun of me for this part or take me less seriously, but I’ll never apologize for loving animals in the intense way that I do. They are the MOST innocent beings ever created and they have NO say about what’s done to them. (And don’t most injustices boil down to just that?)
And though for me it does have a lot to do with the animals, that’s not the only reason. I know some people just don’t care about that, to some it’s just the circle of life, but these products are so processed and injected and modified in order to stay “fresh” in order to make it to our plates that it is inevitably chalk full of chemicals, by products, and made into forms that our bodies just were not built to handle. On top of that, these animals are bred and housed on such a massive scale that disease runs rampant and if you think for one second those animals are being tossed away because they have a tumor hanging off them, you my friend, would be wrong. They just cut that tumor right off and process the rest to end up on your plate, doesn’t matter if it’s “organic” “grass fed” or a “happy” cow from California.
Don’t believe me? Curious? Watch Cowspiracy, Earthlings, What the Health, Food Inc., Seaspiracy. If you can get through ONE without a tear, a jaw drop, feeling ill, or shutting it off completely, let me know. I’ll muster up a prize.
I’ve forever considered myself an animal lover, but after the first few months of learning more about this stuff, and watching these documentaries, I was ashamed that I ever considered myself a lover of them all while partaking in and supporting (with my dollar) these horrific and barbaric industries. That’s what made it easy for me. On top of my health, loving animals made it that simple for me.
We’ve all seen Free Willie right? Did any of you want him to stay locked up in that tiny tank, unable to be where he belonged, suffering for human entertainment? Would you have wanted him killed, cut up and grilled for you to eat? If you didn’t then that is your innate sense of compassion. Most people tend to have it for a select few animals, the kind society deems as “pets.” Vegans however see all animals the same way, because why not? Really think about it. The light bulb doesn’t have to go off right now, but perhaps someday it will. This isn’t nature, were in no need of dire survival. We’re producing beings for our taste buds, simple as that. (Ok, rant over.)
Now, deciding and executing are two very different things.
I decided, I proudly want to go vegan, no meat, easy. It really is, there are SO many alternatives out now, that weren’t even available when I made the full transition only a year and a half ago! But no dairy? No cheese? No pizza? No ice cream? No eggs? THAT was the harder part. However, in the back of my mind was ALWAYS my health and my animals. Both always kept me on track, until it wasn’t a challenge anymore.
As I started eliminating things and adding in new recipes and whole foods, I realized the things that made my stomach scream were red meat and dairy. I was lucky in a sense that my body would quite immediately tell me what to eat and what to stay the eff away from. And you better believe as I kept with the plan I began to feel better, have more energy, when I’d go to the gym my recovery time was faster, my soreness wasn’t as intense, I had way more endurance, I was learning how to cook yummy recipes for both me and my loved ones, opening others eyes to how good this change could be for many reasons.
Listen, each person has their own reason(s), their own drive, and their own time-frame. I’ve learned, that you cannot make anyone do something they don’t want to do, or are not ready for. However, what I can do is share information to my audience and they can choose to discover and research more for themselves, OR leave it alone. The choice must always come from the heart and when you’re ready to make a change, you’ll being your own journey to this place.
Some quick hits:
I didn’t need any animal-based products to become healthy
Nor did I need them to nourish or keep me healthy
I didn’t need them to become stronger
I didn’t need them to be fashionable (Yes, leather, suede, wool, etc. I’m talking to you.)
At that point the only thing stopping me from going plant-based were my taste buds, and some false advertising and teaching, that we NEED meat and dairy to be healthy and survive.
Can save people’s health
Has cured disease
Is saving animals
Reduces negative environmental impact
THAT was the why…
The how has been in the works for a bit and will take a bit more time to refine. A How to Go Plant-based (vegan) ebook will be available for download on bwildlywell.com soon.
Here’s the plan:
Taste-tested list of plant-based alternatives for EVERYTHING you think you’ll miss (Yes, cheese and ice cream)
A sampled meal plan with multiple options
A how to get your protein section (its mindless, very simple)
Benefits of the plant-based diet
Staple recipes that’ll keep you satisfied
And a list of websites, influencers, foodies, and online vegan food shopping that’ll never leave you without answers.
PLEASE let me know what I’m missing, what else to include, what is holding you back that I can simplify for you? I’m in this with you.